Looking to improve your kitchen skills?
There are two basic forms of cooking; dry-heat and moist-heat. The dry-heat cooking method doesn’t need any liquid such as water, broth, stock, and steam. On the other hand, moist-heat cooking relies more on the liquid to cook food.
However, did you know that you can also combine these methods to make tastier foods?
If you’re hoping to get better in the kitchen, you need to know these essential cooking methods. This article covers how different methods of cooking can affect the flavor and texture of your food. Read on to find out more and start improving your dishes today.
Sautéing is an example of a dry heat cooking method. To sauté a dish, put the pan on the burner with medium-high heat. Use only a small amount of oil or fat.
The oil or fat will prevent the food from staying on the pan. Before putting the ingredients in the pan, ensure that your pan is at the right heat. You’ll know it’s hot enough when you notice tiny bubbles forming.
This method requires you to flip or toss the ingredients more often but not in a continuous manner. Avoid crowding the pan with ingredients because it will absorb the oil. The food will stick to the pan when this happens.
You can say the food is good to go when it has turned golden brown. This method is best for poultry, meat, and vegetables to preserve taste, texture, and moisture.
Grilling is the process of using radiant heat in cooking food. It transfers heat from a source such as fire or coals.
This is an ideal method if you want to cook fast. Grilling adds flavor and a unique texture to the food. However, it’s a method that requires high heat from the source.
Grilling is best for high-fat content meat like steak, patties, and sausages. You could grill fish, fruits, and vegetables as well. Ensure that these foods have high water content to avoid them from drying out.
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Roasting is a method wherein it uses indirect heat to cook all sides of the food. It’s a slow cooking process that coaxes the flavor of the meat and vegetable.
Low temperature for this method ranges from 200°F to 350°F, while high temperature could be up to 450°F. Lower temperatures are for meat with tough cuts. If you have tender cut meat, use high temperature.
This method juices the meat, which adds to the intensity of the flavor. If you’re cooking vegetables, coat them with oil to prevent drying.
To deep-fry, use a pan or pot to submerge your food in hot oil. This method will make your food crispy and delicious. It cooks the food until it’s inside and will give you golden-brown results.
You can use this method for batter-coated food, fries, and doughnuts. However, be mindful of the effects of eating too many deep-fried foods. Take note that this method requires a lot of oil which can’t be good for your health.
The steaming cooking method is an example of moist heat cooking. Use a microwave, steaming basket, or wrap the food with foil to steam in the oven.
The steam surrounds the food while allowing it to retain moisture. This helps you tenderize food such as vegetables, fish, and shellfish. You can also steam desserts like flan or tamales.
Boiling is a great cooking technique for eggs, vegetables, and pasta. The boiling temperature is 212°F, and when achieved, large bubbles start to form.
It’s a method used to improve the texture of foods like grains and pasta to make them edible. It helps to soften and tenderize the food to add moisture. However, take note that this can remove or decrease the nutrients the food contains.
Another method for moist heat cooking is simmering. It’s a method that sits between boiling and poaching.
Simmering is boiling the liquid below the boiling point. The ideal temperature ranges from 180°F to 205°F. You could say that it’s simmering when tiny bubbles start forming.
To simmer, bring the liquid up to the boiling point, then lower the heat until tiny bubbles form. This method gives a balanced taste to the food.
Poaching is another method under moist heat cooking. It’s a gentle process of cooking food. It preserves the flavor and moisture of the food. You won’t need oil or fat for this method.
Submerge food in hot water or liquid when it reaches temperatures between 140°F and 180°F. You can poach chicken, eggs, fish, and fruits. Poaching an egg would give you that tender egg white and creamy egg yolk.
Braising is one of the combination cooking methods. It’s a method that goes through low temperatures. If you plan on braising food, ensure that you have enough time to prepare as this is a slow cooking method.
To braise food, you need to sear the ingredients at a high temperature first. After searing, you can transfer it to a pot with a little amount of liquid and let it sit there until cooked. Remember to turn the heat on to a low temperature.
This method adds more flavor to the food. For example, you decided to braise a pork shoulder. Braising will enhance the taste, texture and tenderize the meat.
Stewing has a similar process to braising. The difference between these methods is when you stew, you submerge the food in liquid. Start by cutting the ingredients into smaller sizes.
The slow-cooking process breaks down the fibrous vegetables. The fat and the collagen from the meat melt away as well, which results in thick consistency. They would describe it as a dish that gives off gravy with tender meats and soft vegetables.
Popular Cooking Methods to Improve Your Cooking Skills
Here are some popular cooking methods used by both home and professional chefs. Trying out different cooking methods is a great way to bring out new flavors and textures. Use this as a guide and start experimenting in the kitchen today.
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